yarn along ~ january 4

Stop by Ginny’s first Yarn Along of 2012!
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On the needles: Hallelujah, we have a sleeve!  Armed with my first ever nifty knitting counter (a Christmas gift), I’ve begun the first sleeve of my mom’s Calligraphy Cardigan.  Once I began working in the round, I realized I had a problem: my knitting/stockinette stitch looked “normal”.  Back here, when I was knitting the body of the sweater, I realized that because I was purling “wrong”, my normal old stockinette stitch appeared to be a fancy stitch pattern.  Thanks to someone’s comment (I don’t know who, since previous comments from Intense Debate got deleted ):  ) *on that original post, I was able to figure out how to replicate my abnormal stockinette stitch on the sleeves by alternating rounds of knitting in the front loop and the back loop of each stitch.  Now the finished sweater should have one unified look!

*Edited to add: I was able to retrieve the original comment that helped me with my “wrong” purling from my Intense Debate history.  Thank you, Susan, for sharing!  Here’s her original comment:

. . . “And, here’s another thing we have in common: *I* used to purl “wrong”, too! Which is why your stockinette looks fancier than ordinary stockinette. It looks just how mine used to look. Annie Modesitt wrote a book about people who purl “wrong”. Actually, purling that way can be “right” if on the knit rows you knit through the back of each loop. However, wait until you are finished with this project before you try it, and then experiment with some swatches. Purling “wrong” is fast and comfortable, but it twists the stitches. Knitting through the back of each loop on the right side of the fabric will “fix” this. Then, you won’t have to change how you purl. Modesitt calls this way of knitting “Combination Knitting”.” . . . .
 
Off the bookshelf:  Ever since I started reading blogs a few years ago, I’ve been peripherally aware of ‘attachment parenting’; I never pursued more information on the topic, often thinking, ‘Well, of course, you’re supposed to be attached to your child, you’re the parent’, whenever I came across the term on a blog or website.  I skeptically dismissed what little I knew of the concept as another parenting fad or gimmick designed to make someone a bunch of money.
When I picked up Hold on to Your Kids by Gordon Neufeld and Gabor Mate at the library, I didn’t realize that it was based on attachment parenting.  With my library due date looming, I’ve skipped over most of Chapters 1-13 to the real meat or ‘how-to’ of the book; those first chapters are important—the authors are laying down the evidence or groundwork to help the reader understand why their ideas make sense, but I don’t need to be convinced that parents should be the most important influence in their child’s life, or that our society has unwittingly given kids permission to ‘parent’ each other—I intuitively knew all that, I just couldn’t find much to back me up in the places I was searching for help.
The authors’ fundamental premise—that relationship/attachment with each child must be the foremost concern of the parent—runs contrary to almost everything I’ve ever learned as a teacher, and thus, have tried to apply as a parent.  During my 12 years of teaching there was an endless wealth of information/programs focused on “classroom management” (really just short-term behavior or crowd control).  Towards the end of my teaching years, this was one of the aspects I hated most—the feeling that I was always supposed to be trying to stay one step ahead of the students and “make” them do what they were “supposed” to do (and enjoy it).  Looking back, I see that the years I most enjoyed teaching were those when I was most emotionally invested/attached to my students—I cultivated relationships with them, which made all of the discipline/control issues fade into the background.  So why can’t the same prove true with my own kids?
Our family has no more or less problems than the average family, I suppose, but we do have the additional challenge of being a blended family.  We have struggled for the past four years to know how to help our two oldest children deal with the trauma they have experienced as a result of divorce; in particular, one child clearly has severe abandonment issues and has not responded with long term change/healing to the varied tactics and strategies suggested by mainstream ‘parenting experts’.  When I read the following words, something clicked and I felt for the first time in a long time that someone else understood our child (and us) and could help us draw them back into a loving, secure place:

It is true that a highly insecure child can be exhaustingly demanding of time and attention.  The parent may long for respite, not more engagement.  The conundrum is that attention given at the request of the child is never satisfactory: it leaves an uncertainty that the parent is only responding to demands, not voluntarily giving of himself to the child . . . . The solution is to seize the moment, to invite contact exactly when the child is not demanding it . . . .
Nor can one collect a child or offer him something to hold on to by showering him with praise.  Praise is usually about something the child has done and, as such, is neither a gift or spontaneous.  Praise originates not in the adult, but in the achievements of the child.  A child cannot hold onto praise because it is subject to cancellation with every failure . . . . No wonder praise backfires in some children, producing behavior counter to what is praised, or causing the child to back out of the relationship in anticipation of falling short.  –pg. 186

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg of the ideas I’m reading that have me feeling excited and hopeful.  However, I tend to get really excited about new ideas and concepts that I feel will work and dive in headlong, then get disappointed when things don’t turn out just how I expect.  I still have reservations about some aspects of this theory. 
So, help me out, please?  What do you know about attachment parenting?  Do you have any books to recommend?  Any cautionary words of wisdom or advice?

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